The other massively multiplayer title set to be released this month, Anarchy Online, launched their for-all-practical-purposes public beta last week. Of course, first you had to download the AO client. At 600 mb, not an easy task. Mirrors quickly went up – and then back down again as hundreds of thousands of prospective “testers” tried to grab the hottest warez since someone found a new Pamela Anderson video.

People who did manage to somehow download the client from the heavily overloaded European servers found, more often then not, that their CD key wasn’t working. A rumor had spread that CD keys would work an unlimited number of times, but actually would only work for three activations. And for many, thanks to an error at Funcom, they wouldn’t work once. Still, plenty of people are logging on and discovering the joys of leet slaughtering. Word is that the new beta 4 client is still (surprise!) beta quality, with plenty of memory leaks, although with far fewer crashes to desktop than the beta 3 client, and that the AO servers hold up well in high-load situations.

Anarchy Online is still scheduled for a June 27 release. Meanwhile, World War 2 Online’s stress test beta continues also. Although you have to download their client from the web as well, Playnet would appreciate it if you paid for it first. Responding to criticism that only early beta testers had access to incorrect server availablity info, PlayNet put the incorrect server availability info online for everyone to enjoy. At last report, Cornered Rat was said to report “it’s in these wires somewhere, we think. Must sleep now. Make it stop.” In response, Bruce “SirBruce” Woodcock posted 7,800 messages on our forums stating that in Belgium, the natives speak both French and Dutch!